SARID- FILM BY ZBIGNIEW GAJZLER6 min read
Like any other vocation, this also requires us to be honest with ourselves and with others in our lives.
I did not graduate from the Directing Department, but in photography, and I feel quite comfortable with it, it been my life passion until now. I have never taken a good or beautiful photo, each of my photos must express something and be interesting, when I photograph a portrait, I try to look deep into the eyes with the lens, what emotions they express at that moment or hide a secret. Still, life is different here, I express my emotions through the composition of the frame and the object. There was a time when I worked with the greatest screen magicians, standing behind the camera, but I also took hundreds of stills on film sets, I collaborated with such magazines as FILM or EKRAN, at some point in my life I came to the conclusion that it is worth making some permanent marks on the sands of my time and I decided to quit my job for the benefit of others but to devote myself to work on my own account, making my own films by Assoc. This makes me fulfilled, because I touch real heroes and their life stories, often reaching the truths of human existence on winding roads. It was the same with the movie SARID is a film about the Holocaust, but in fact, it is a story of little Aleks and his family during the Nazi occupation.
This subject has been following me for years, I live in a small town near Lodz in Pabianice, but it was here that before the war the Jewish community constituted 1/3 of the entire community, except for the Polish and German ones. It’s already here in January! 1940, one of the first ghettos in Poland was established. Since no one was left of this community after the war, I had no possibility of any contact with anyone. I applied to the Łódź Commune, but the then chairman of the Commune, Symcha Keler, did not want to talk, explaining to me that I should look for contacts myself, and it would be enough for him to contact me to the Łódź Jewish countrymen in Israel and they would give me contact with the Pabianice Jews, this one I couldn’t comprehend the dislike, but as it happens with my patience, she often rewards me, it was also this time. Aleks once appeared in Pabianice with a group of students from the University of Jerusalem telling his story, he encountered me, and I encountered him after informing me of this visit in advance. Later it went quite smoothly, although there was a problem with generating the budget, because the big producers from Hollywood, whom I applied to, immediately asked about the Ghetto, we only know the Warsaw, Łódź, and Płaszów ghettos thanks to Steven Spielberg SCHINDLER LIST, over they asked what character this Aleks is, how the hell it mattered, because if someone is very famous, we will give you money, so let’s do it yourself, oh, I got a good school with this film.
It was then that I realized how Jews derive wisdom from the Bible, treating IT as much as possible about the business, claiming, among other things, that money likes wisdom. Today I know how much I drew from this Jewish knowledge, sometimes using methods to obtain money for a film and what language to use, or when to use a ruse appropriate to the situation. To this day, I have many friends from this community, I love their culture and cuisine, it is excellent, just cymes .. They often ask how does business? And I said, it’s good, but it could be better, this is also an old Jewish saying, also referring to a woman.
Admittedly, at the end of the film, Spielberg congratulated me on my work, because he had shot 15 minutes before. an interview with Aleks and other witnesses of the Holocaust, through his Shoach Foundation, but it was me and thanks to my film, the world got to know the stories of the small-town ghetto in Pabianice and of Aleks himself. Such an interesting episode from the time of post-production SARID, when I prepared this film several times, one night I had a dream of a scene where I am a participant in the DEATH MARCH and going to extermination with others, I woke up all wet and on the same day decided about the final version of the film, nothing to worry about during editing.
I remember the ceremonial show in Telaviv in Cinematek, halls for several hundred seats, we enter the stage after the film with Aleks and we see the audience in tears in their eyes, and I have had such shows almost all over the world. The film is in the largest Holocaust museum in the world. He is listed among the best docs. about the Holocaust, next to Spielberg, Polański, Lanzman, and other greats, I recommend the link: The Jewish theme in the film.
Working on each of the projects requires a lot of determination and patience at every stage, into which I try to put all my heart and sensitivity, and this later gets the recognition of the viewer. I always think that the work of a creator, if there is no audience, in my case the audience, becomes a dead work. Each of my paintings carries a universal message, hence so much interest in Poland and the world. Currently, I have two interesting projects in my head regarding women, I’m just waiting for the Covid thaw.
A few tips from a famous Hollywood film producer of Jewish descent.
Never say that you managed to make a film not entirely perfect, even if something went wrong, always say that you made an excellent film if someone on your team says otherwise does not deserve further cooperation.
Try to talk to serious people about how many you know outstanding creators or actors, even if you have met them only once in your life, some of them watched your film, it always arouses respect and recognition among many.
At formal meetings, try to choose and build appropriately pronounced sentences, pay attention to who is shaking hands with you and how, two fingers indicate disrespect, a full hand counts, if you receive a telephone invitation to dinner, always add that you are asking for a moment of reflection. If you are a non-smoker and someone offers you a cigar, say that you only smoke Cuban, you are not interested in others.
I remember a situation when I wanted to make literally two shots at the Birkenau camp, the railroad tracks leading to the camp, and the second shots of an empty railway ramp. Earlier, by calling the management of the Museum in Oświęcim, asking for permission to shoot these two shots free of charge, when I heard how much I should pay, I almost fell off my chair. I was treated as a producer of a mega-film, preferably American, and yet my film is a small documentary form made entirely for private money, but I was not understood, the answer was unambiguous, we do not see any possibility of treating you lightly. I understand, the museum has to make money, but not this way. This is best seen in the movie Life is Beautiful too. Robert Benigni, when the Auschwitz camp was built in Slovenia, and not filmed in Poland, just economy, so I turned to the Yad-Vaschem Holocaust Museum and I was immediately provided with iconographic materials from Birkenau, anyway, I shot the photos in this Museum for free, I was treated with great respect and at every stage in. I could only meet with great kindness, it’s nice. I did not fail to inform prof. Władysław Bartoszewski, who was very outraged by the whole situation, giving his sharp commentary in Gazeta Wyborcza, later congratulated me personally on the film, wishing me a lot of success. It is not surprising that Roman Polanski, after the film The PianistHe has never decided to make a film in Poland again, and not only he, many producers avoid our country only for economic reasons and the lack of a good climate in this respect. For example, many mega-productions are filmed in the Czech Republic or at the German DEFA studio, and this has been the case for years. Huge decorations are being built abroad, pretending to be Polish scenery… sad but true, I have contacts with many producers and more. They are not interested in Poland.